Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
1/11/12 at 12:18 AM 0 Comments

Dr. Kevin Leman’s Relationship Tips for a Stress-Free 2012 (or as close as possible!)

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At this time of year everyone is talking about resolutions for the coming year. Here are some top suggestions for parents, spouses, and singles to make sure that your relationships with those you love most are strong and healthy:

Tips for parenting:

1. Watch your expectations, make sure they are positive and not negative.

2. Make sure your kids get enough Vitamin E (encouragement) and some very essential Vitamin N, which is No.

3. Rules are important but not the only thing that is important. Relationships matter most.

4. Have fun with your kids, laugh at yourself, use the words, "I am sorry."

5. Do not take any disrespectful act from your son or daughter without significant consequences. Your kids have a need to please you. They don't like it when Mom and Dad are unhappy.

For those of you who are married, here are some thoughts to make this year as close to stress-free as possible. (And for those of you who are single, your tips are to come next.)

Tips for your marriage:

1. Ladies, remember he is the SIMPLE one. Think of him as a four-year-old who shaves! His needs are simple. He needs to be needed and wanted by YOU.

2.Guys, understand that your wife majors in relationships and communication. She has the need to hear from you. She wants to know your feelings that you have about, well...almost everything in life. She needs to feel like you're lovingly affectionate at all times!

3. We spend money on everything under the sun, but how many of us invest our time and money in our marriage? Want to do something great for your family this year? Then take time to be a couple, enjoy a date night. You might even want to consider joining next year's Couples of Promise Cruise! Those kind of investments play dividends for generations.

4. Do your marriage a great favor and make sure that your spouse and your relationship take precedence.

Tips for relationships (including those of you who are single!):

1. Don't "should" on yourself. When you "should" on yourself, you are really putting down the masterpiece that God created in you. You truly are a one-of-a-kind!

2. If you have a critical eye—i.e., you can spot a flaw, especially in the ones you love, in less than 10 seconds—give it a rest! And rather than pull up the negatives, look for the positives and use the words, "Good job!" "Nice going!" and "I bet that makes you feel good inside!"

3. If you want to see a relationship with someone you love improve dramatically, in less than 48 hours, stop asking questions! It's like magic. On that note, tuck the "why" word away and watch the relationship change before your eyes!

Two of my favorite Scriptures come from St. Paul. In Ephesians 6, he says, "Children, obey your parents, it is the right thing to do! Because God has placed them in authority over you."

And in the preceding chapter, Paul writes these profound words, for those of us who are married: "Honor Christ by submitting to one another." These imperfect people who surround your life are God's gifts for you! Handle these relationships with care.

Marriage and parenthood are not easy, but they're simple. God does have a simple plan for our marriages as well as for the journey of being a good parent.

Here's to a great relationships in the 2012 year!

Dr. Kevin Leman, internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker, is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Have a New Kid By Friday, Have a New Husband by Friday, Have a New You by Friday, Sheet Music, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, and The Birth Order Book. He has made thousands of house calls for radio and television programs, including Fox & Friends, The View, Fox's The Morning Show, Today, Oprah, CBS's The Early Show, In the Market with Janet Parshall, Live with Regis Philbin, CNN's American Morning, and Focus on the Family. Dr. Leman has served as a contributing family psychologist to Good Morning America. He and his wife, Sande, have four daughters and one son.

Author photo copyright © 2007 by Tom Spitz Photography. All rights reserved.

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